The affordable education loan option
Pretoria - The government wants a new crop of public service employees and has decided to open its own school to mould the perfect worker.
The National School of Government, launched in Pretoria on Monday, is to replace the Public Administration Leadership and Management Agency.
The acting head of the school, Professor Job Mokgoro, said: “This will encourage school-leavers to build a career in the government. We want the right men and women to take up the positions.”
Mokgoro said planning would be done next year and implemented in 2015. “Since 1994, there have been six models to better learning development. With so many attempts it shows the value placed on learning.
“The biggest higher education institution in the country is Unisa, with 300 000 students. We are looking at 1.7 million.
“Criteria on who will be accepted does not exist yet, but we will be borrowing from lessons learnt from the Defence Department’s cadet programme.”
The school would have permanent lecturers, and ministers and former government employees would be guest lecturers.
Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said some of the guest lecturers would include Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel; Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom and Public Works Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin.
“I want to encourage ministers to lecture. This is a great way to tap into the knowledge base,” Mokgoro said.
“Many universities erroneously are feeling unsettled. But the school of government is not going to take opportunities from them - it will expand opportunities. Some of the courses offered by universities are not geared for the public sector. We want something customised for the public sector.
“The biggest problem is financial misconduct. The auditor-general will teach periodically. With understanding governance, the students will learn about the laws, how the government works and how to dress.”
Sisulu said her department would battle to fund the school as students would not be paying fees. “We have enough to begin, but we are short of R102 million. We will use money allocated for the Public Administration Leadership and Management Agency. We need… permission to divert the funds.”
Students would complete a three-year degree and would have to sign a contract undertaking to work for the government. “Stiff sanctions will make companies think twice about hiring the students. The students and company would have to pay three times what it costs to educate a person.”
Council members include Professor Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo; Professor Nomathemba Magi; Professor Itumeleng Mosala; Dr Trish Hanekom; Gemma Paine-Cronin; and Barry Gilder. Professor Lekoa Mollo will be the registrar.